Wells Adds Another Staff Member

One of the cornerstones in the University of Alabama's baseball revival under head coach Jim Wells is returning to the Capstone as the school's volunteer baseball coach.

Dax Norris, a two-year starter at catcher in 1995 and 1996, has been named the Crimson Tide's volunteer assistant baseball coach, Wells announced on Wednesday. Norris replaces Chad Oxendine, who was named full-time assistant coach at Richmond earlier this month.

"As a player, Dax was a tough competitor and I always knew he would make a great coach," Wells said. "I am happy that he will be joining our staff here at Alabama. I think he has a bright future in the coaching profession and the players will learn a great deal from him and his past experiences as a player here at Alabama and with the Atlanta Braves and Houston Astros."

Norris played in 132 games for the Crimson Tide, including 122 starts, and batted .329 (177-for-538) with 10 home runs and 83 RBI. He added 39 doubles, two triples and 42 walks and compiled a .994 fielding mark as one the top backstops in school history.

"I am very excited to be coming home to Alabama and working on Coach Wells' staff," Norris said. "This is a great opportunity for me to continue to learn the game of baseball from someone I have so much respect for. I am also excited to be back with Coach (Mitch) Gaspard, who was an assistant coach when I played here at Alabama. I have always wanted to come back to Alabama and I am grateful for this opportunity."

Norris spent the 2007 season as an assistant coach at Niceville (Fla.) High School, where he worked under former Bama assistant coach Kevin Berry and tutored UA pitching signee, Jimmy Nelson.

A journeyman minor leaguer, Norris played 11 seasons with the Atlanta Braves and Houston Astros organizations, reaching the Triple A level with both clubs. He played in 846 career minor league games and batted .265 (771-for-2,914) with 73 home runs and 421 RBI. He had a career-high 122 hits and 72 RBI for the Greenville (S.C.) Braves (Class AA, Southern League) in 2000 and smacked a career-high 15 home runs in Greenville in 1999. During the off-seasons, Norris ran his own hitting school in Florida.

A 23rd-round draft pick by the Atlanta Braves in 1996, Norris was a two-year starter for the Crimson Tide. He batted .283 (72-for-254) as a junior in 1995 with three home runs and 34 RBI in 63 starts. Norris was named to the 1995 NCAA East Regional All-Tournament Team at the Clemson, S.C., where he batted .316 (6-for-19) with two runs scored and five RBI in five games. He also turned in 36 errorless chances behind the plate.

He was elected team captain on the Crimson Tide's 1996 SEC Championship team that finished with a then-school record 50 wins. Alabama also captured the 1996 SEC Tournament championship at the Hoover Met and hosted the school's first-ever NCAA Regional. Norris led UA to its first College World Series appearance since 1983 during his senior year. He batted .370 (105-for-284) with seven home runs and 49 RBI en route to being named First-Team All-American by the Super Smith Team. He was also a First-Team All-SEC honoree and American Baseball Coaches Association All-South Region pick.

Prior to playing at Alabama, Norris was a two-year starter at Central Alabama Community College in Alexander City, Ala. A native of LaGrange, Ga., Norris is married to the former Rene' Simpkins. He was born Jan. 14, 1973.

The Dax Norris File Born: Jan. 14, 1973 (LaGrange, Ga.) Wife: Rene' Coaching Experience: Niceville (Fla.) High School Assistant Coach (2006-07) The University of Alabama Named Volunteer Assistant Coach (July 11, 2007) Playing Experience: LaGrange High School (1990-92) Central Alabama Community College (1993-94) The University of Alabama (1995-96) Atlanta Braves Organization (1996-2002) Houston Astros Organization (2003-06) TRANSACTIONS: Alabama -- Named Dax Norris volunteer assistant baseball coach. -- UA --  

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